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Makan Makan Muslim Cuisine

Makan Makan Muslim Cuisine

Featuring Nasi Lemak Kukus, Golden Mile Food Centre, Rumah Makan Minang (Bugis), Hjh Maimunah Restaurant (Jalan Pisang), Food Opera (ION Orchard), Kampong Glam Cafe, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang (Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre), Dapur Penyet (Bugis), Impian Wahyu, Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

I don’t recall having enjoyed Ayam Bakar (Indonesian style grilled chicken) of this calibre.
It was not merely the aromatic “rempah” (mixed spice paste) gobbed over the chicken that triggered my tastebuds to ripple in a celebratory Mexican wave but the meat itself.
Dryish to dry, especially if you get a piece of the breast, has always been grudgingly accepted as the norm when tearing into a serving of Ayam Bakar because well, the chicken does spend quite a bit of time over high heat. But amazingly, this rendition by @minang.sg smashed that notion to smithereens. The meat of this gorgeous ayam was moist, the kind of moist that recalls weather reports announcing humidity close to 100%. Stringiness was non-existent.
By the way, I was not the only person to be so blown away. Many of my Burpple colleagues at the team lunch echoed the same sentiments.

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With a reputation that precedes itself, I was looking forward with great excitement to having the Mee Soto at “Inspirasi” again (it’s been many years since my last visit). My order of mixed mee and beehoon was huge, and came with large pieces of shredded chicken, lots of crunchy beansprouts and coriander. Of course I had to add on their famous bergedil (a deliciously seasoned mashed potato patty). Although the broth wasn’t as thick in consistency as I remember it to be (or maybe I’m mistaken), it was very tasty indeed. Especially after I threw in a bit of their lethal chilli sauce.

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My parents use to take my brothers and I to Rendezvous Indonesian Restaurant back in the day when they were located opposite Cathay cinema, where the Rendezvous Hotel presently stands. At this original spot, there was no dining in air-conditioned comfort and no picturesque views. But it didn’t matter because the Indonesian-style dishes they cooked and served in the rather light-starved, rundown coffeeshop, such as the Chicken Korma, Sayur Lodeh and Chicken Liver Lemak, were a delicious enough attraction. I recall a dish with smooth, slightly flattened fish cakes cooked in a light lemak gravy which we always had to order but today, when I visited the restaurant at its current home inside Clarke Quay Central, I didn’t spot it. Not that it mattered as I had ordered more than enough for one person.
On the whole, I found the food they prepare to be still very tasty. The Sambal Goreng (a stirfry of beancurd, long beans, prawns and tempeh in a spicy rempah) and the Chilli Brinjal were shiok but the Rendang Chicken - now that is the one not to be missed.
Not surprisingly, quality comes at a price and it is indeed more expensive to dine here compared to many other Nasi Padang places. For your reference, I paid $28 in total for my solo meal shown above, inclusive of a glass of hot “teh-o”.

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The “four floors” at Orchard Towers I am more interested in is in a glass display case filled with trays of various vibrant coloured dishes. Found in the basement of the building, #chopstixandrice is a hidden gem on Orchard Road for authentic Nasi Padang.
My advice is to go early if you plan to eat (*cough* overeat *cough*). Around 11.30am is best because the food would have just been cooked at that point and the lunch hour crowd has not yet descended, thus allowing you the widest possible choice.
Let me warn you, deciding what to pick from the many trays heaped high with all kinds of tastiness is challenging. I have been there several times and I still get a mild panic attack whenever it’s my turn to order. Whatever I choose, however tasty those dishes turn out to be (and so far, none have disappointed), a sense of “could I have chosen better?” lurks in the back of my head 😂 So yeah, the #FOMO is real here.

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Another day, another supremely tasty lunch at Rumah Makan Minang. I never tire of the Nasi Padang here. Whether it’s a “no holds barred” group feast that tests sturdiness of table legs with the weight of many, many dishes, or a simple solo affair, I know satisfaction is guaranteed.
Red or green, their Sambal Belado is always a must, so be sure to ask for some. I am happy to eat it alone with plain rice but of course, that never happens. The wide variety of dishes on display prove too tempting every single time.

“Warung Selera Masakan Kampung”, a stall inside Joo Chiat Shopping Complex’s food court, had me with this sentence on their signage: “Specialize in Malay Cuisine”. That, and the queue of customers who walked away from it carrying plates of intriguing looking food.
It was my first visit ever, so I was busy craning my neck to cop an eyeful of what others were ordering. That‘s how I ended up also getting the “pisang jantung” (banana flower) to go with my plate of Nasi Campur (rice with a mix of chosen toppings). If I am not mistaken, the banana flower was boiled, cooled, then cut into bite-sized pieces. The only flavouring for the crunchy, succulent bud came from the “sambal belachan” scooped on top upon order. Frankly, some of the outer layers of it were a little fibrous and thus, chewy. But overall, it was a pretty good salad to have with my plate of rice, “sambal petai”, “paru” (cow’s lung) and a fried egg. The other thing I noticed about this stall is they have some fresh herbs and excellent condiments you can help yourself to.

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Bathed in a scarlet glow thanks to the bright red awning above our heads, the food looks fiery hot. That isn’t far from the truth. I do find the dishes at “Rumah Makan Minang” to be more deliciously intense in flavour profile due to the amount of “rempah” (ground up spice pastes) used as compared to many other Nasi Padang places I’ve been to.
One of my favourite items to order whenever I spot it is “paru” (cow lungs). However the way they do it here can sometimes be a bit too hard and crunchy. In fact the last time I visited with my parents, we all feared for our teeth. Or maybe we are just getting old 😂

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Happiness is stumbling on a great food find. Please say hello to my latest: the Sardine “Epok Epok” that costs all of 80 cents. I unearthed it at “Mohd Zaid Kueh Mueh”, stall #01-11 inside this food centre.
Freshly fried, the piping hot Malay-style puff has a thinnish pastry crust and a spicy sardine-in-tomato-sauce filling that‘s got a thicker consistency and way more aroma than any other I’ve tried. My guess is there’s curry powder involved.
Need further proof of how good this was? Well, I couldn’t stop at one although I had every intention to.

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Paid a visit to the halal eatery that I use to lunch at pretty often when I worked in the area. Choosing their Nasi Goreng Ayam was a no-brainer as it was my standard order then.
It’s good to know nothing has changed. The rice is still well fried without being too oily. Which does slightly alleviate the guilt of having it with a large piece of crispy deepfried chicken. They still offer not one but three kinds of chilli to enjoy with the dish too. There’s a spicy, tangy “chicken rice chilli sauce”, another that’s savoury because it’s belachan-based, and last but not least, pickled sliced green chillies that’s almost fruity. Since all of them work for me. I just rotate amongst the three with each mouthful.

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Mondays ain’t blue. Mondays can be every imaginable shade of vibrant when you greet it head-on with a sedap (that’s Malay for “delicious”) Nasi Padang.
Today, I picked out “Paru with Sambal Belado”, “Petai with Ikan Bilis” and “Sambal Goreng” to pile on my plate of rice. TH decided to get some Grilled Chicken, Omelette, Bittergourd and a Beansprout Salad with Toasted Coconut Flakes and Four-Angled Beans for his. I also ordered a bowl of “Nangka Masak Lemak” for us to share. The gravy is too fragrant to not be slurped up by itself.

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Fowl versus fowl, duck outweighs chicken in terms of flavour anytime. And I learned, when I ate Dapur Penyet’s “Bebek”, it retains that intensity even when it’s deepfried.
The duck here was by no means a juicy thing. In fact, I would describe it as dry and crispy. Some parts were a bit chewy even. However I rather enjoyed it. The spice rub marinade on the duck made it very tasty and frankly, it’s also due to Dapur Penyet’s ferociously spicy sambal chilli. Slap it on anything for immediate shiok-ness.

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If taste could be heard, this would be deafening; a veritable wall of noise composed of heavy chords. Yet strangely harmonious at the same time. I guess that’s the beauty of Nasi Padang. Individually, each dish is complete - an unadulterated richness in itself. But together, in whatever combination one chooses, they always taste really good too.
On the day when I stumbled upon this little Nasi Padang stall tucked away in the basement of Orchard Towers, I had to make a conscious effort to stop myself from ordering once I hit 4 dishes. Blame it on the lady boss’ mouthwatering display but everything looked so tempting! I can vouch for her cooking skills too as I was very happy with all the items I chose. The squid cooked in its own ink and sambal paru (cow lung) were tender, while the stirfried four-corner beans retained a little crunch. Only in Malaysia have I eaten ikan bilis with purple onions and the version here was equally shiok.
As I was leaving, I noticed the queue for the Nasi Padang stretched out the door and all the way up the staircase. So if you plan on visiting, I suggest going before noon to get your pick of dishes.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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